American Rhetoric: Movie Speech

"Michael Collins" (1996)

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Eamon de Valera Sends Michael Collins to London for Treaty Negotiations

Audio mp3 of Exchange delivered by and Liam Neeson and Alan Rickman

  Collins: What? You must be joking. No. I won't do it. I'm not a politician. I'm not going to London.

Sinn Féin Cabinet Member: You're the strongest card we have.

Collins: They call me an assassin and a murderer for Christ's sake. Can you even see Churchill shaking my hand?

de Valera: We broached it with them. We've had no objections.

Collins: You go, Dev. You're the statesman. You've got some sense of how far we can push them. They know you.

de Valera: That's the whole point: They don't know you.

Collins: Don't do this to me, Dev. Don't do it. I'm no good at talk. I'm a yob from West Cork, Dev, please!

  de Valera: You'll head our team, Michael. To negotiate a treaty for the first time in history between Ireland and England. We need to keep a final arbitrator in reserve.

Collins: And that'll be you.

de Valera: That will be the Irish people -- and me, as President of the Irish Republic.

 Archival Footage of Collins' Funeral

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